5. Charge What You’re Worth
Do not underestimate your value. As a new business owner you may feel inclined to start out offering a more affordable option than your established competitors. This is a good idea only if there is a clear and specific reason that your services cost less.
For example, if you have some kind of supply advantage; or if your only other competitor is a huge corporation with tons of employees and overhead, whereas your operating costs are relatively small. Otherwise you are costing yourself and your company income that you can never get back.
6. Get Paid Fast
In a culture that still shies away from discussing a topic as ugly as money, one of the things many new businesses struggle with is collecting payments from their customers. It is uncomfortable and unpleasant to go chasing down a new customer who is late paying their invoice, but no one else is going to do it for you. If you are not getting paid for the services you’re providing you aren’t a business professional; you are a volunteer.
7. Keep Your Assets Separate
You’re starting a business, and it’s what you’ve wanted for a long time. You’re not messing around and you’re ready to pour everything you have into this venture. That impulse isn’t exactly wrong, but it is a little optimistic.
If you mortgage your house and your business doesn’t make it, you’ve made a situation that was already pretty bad much, much worse. You should absolutely be investing in your own business. However, keeping your personal assets firmly separated from your business will protect you from the worst case scenario. It will also allow you to take necessary risks in your business life with significantly more peace of mind.
If you do become lax, using the business credit card for personal expenses or depositing money earned by the business directly into your personal account can leave your personal property vulnerable, even if you haven’t leveraged it through a loan or mortgage.
If your business is a sole proprietorship, meaning you are the owner and only employee, all income and expenses for your business are filed as personal taxes anyway. Otherwise, the best way to protect yourself from a legal standpoint is to incorporate, thus building an unscalable wall between what is yours and what belongs to the business.
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Alan Brady is a writer who uses personal experience as inspiration to write about family, the environment, and business practices. He currently writes for attorneys.com, which helps connect people with local loan modification lawyers in the event that their first year of business didn’t go as planned.
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